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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition

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Texas State Parks Slated to Receive Green Burials

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Green Burial Council (GBC) are working toward a pilot project to hold green burials in state parks. Ted Hollingsworth, director of land conservation at TPWD, says the agency is currently in discussions with the GBC to become one of the first state governments in the nation to undertake such a partnership.

Current plans are centered on land adjacent to a state park. Joe Sehee, founder of the GBC, says the TWPD wouldn't own or manage the cemetery, but as people purchase the burials, a portion of the money will be put aside to acquire land that would be added to the park later.

He relates that Texans have shown plenty of interest in green burials. Conservation and “returning to nature” are the answers he hears most. "Typically, it involves burial in a wooden box or a cardboard box or a canvas shroud, with no chemicals,” he explains. “No embalming or other fluids.”

In Texas, it is legal to scatter a loved one’s ashes in state parks, but only in designated, undeveloped areas. The green burial project is a similar concept, but also addresses land conservation and connecting people to nature.

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